As Benjamin Franklin quoted, “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.”
I think he should have added that it’s a near certainty that writers will trot out lists of predictions at the beginning of any new year. I won’t absolve myself from that rule, but as many professional marketers are trying to predict new trends, I’ll restrict my predictions to those trends I believe are becoming more and more obsolete over time, unless they get some major form of life support.
Will Twitter become the new MySpace? I know is sounds presumptuous to say goodbye to Twitter so soon, while we all know they are struggling while their biggest competitors such as Facebook and Snapchat continue to grow. As reported by eMarketer, Twitter’s users and penetration share will drop to 27.3% by the year 2020, a decline compared to previous numbers. Although the CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey had made a comeback to the company, it may be too little to indicate a wave of improvements as Twitter has been fading for years now. Twitter made some small changes such as not counting images and video toward the 140 character limit, and there might be more upcoming changes, but they need to amp up their game in order to woo new users to their platform.
During 2016, Twitter had a potential sale to Salesforce which ultimately didn’t happen, making the company appear as a less attractive target. Additionally, Twitter let go of approximately 350 employees due to the discontinuing of the mobile app Vine – making these endeavours an all time low for the company. As Twitter is losing its grip on social media, it gives rise to rapid growth for other like Instagram and Pinterest. Instagram grew from 500 to 600 million users in 2016, and Pinterest announced it had reached the 150 million active monthly users milestone.
Google announced last summer (August 2016), it was looking to “punish” and make websites that use annoying pop-up ads and interstitials disadvantaged on search results. The question that should be asked in this situation is do pop-ups actually work? Of course they do, but the fact of the matter is that Google apparently has the data to reveal that website visitors don’t like the display of pop-ups in comparison to websites that don’t have them, so it only makes sense for Google to boost the rankings of websites that remove them.
Once upon a time, there were big banner ads on every site you would have visit, diverting your attention and disturbing you from focusing on the actual purpose for your visit. Notwithstanding, this trend is diminishing over time as marketers converge on using other tools such as native advertising, which have been shown to be 53% more effective in generating leads. This trend makes a lot of sense as it appears to be related to mobile usage which is growing over time, where click rates on banners are notoriously low.
The use of stock images is gradually declining as businesses turn to personalized images and videos. Generic stock images don’t embrace the authentic identity of the business which discourage users from connecting with brands that use them. Furthermore, the use of personalized images improves content performance by raising the amount of likes, shares, and click through rates.
According to a study made by Mintel, 70% of Americans check online reviews before in order to seek out advice and opinions on goods and services before purchasing. Additionally, approximately 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as authentic personal recommendations. Given this information, this has created a whole industry that produces fake reviews to those willing to pay for them. In 2015 Amazon began filing lawsuits against companies for publishing fake reviews. As time goes by consumers are also becoming more savvy and thus one day fake reviews stop working as well and companies won’t buy them much longer.
If you want to allocate your annual budget to tools that works, outline your 2017 digital marketing strategy keeping these trends in mind. If you were planning to spend heavily one of the trends that we discussed in this article, it may be time to change that plan.